- The IOTA Foundation (IF) has published an updated version of the Coordicide whitepaper yesterday.
- The most significant and extensive changes compared to the initial whitepaper concern GoShimmer, the Mana reputation system and the Fast Probabilistic Consensus.
A first version of the whitepaper was published in May 2019, with the launch of the Coordicide website. In the revised version, the core components remain unchanged, but significant progress has been made in individual areas.
The IOTA Foundation stated that almost all of the revised and updated content that found its way into the whitepaper has already been published during the past year. Both the IOTA Foundation (IF) and the IOTA community have contributed to the refinement of the original Coordicide concept through forum discussions on IOTA.cafe.
Nevertheless, the publication of the revised whitepaper is an important step, as the IOTA Foundation stated:
Nevertheless, it is necessary to compile all of these components into a single “state-of-the-art” document, so that our solution may receive the scrutiny it deserves from our academic, corporate, and community collaborators. The paper is also very useful for our own internal process of moving from theory to specification to code.
Major changes in the revised IOTA Coordicide whitepaper
Due to the length of 55 pages, it is difficult to highlight every change in the IOTA whitepaper in detail. However, the most important and extensive changes concern GoShimmer, the MANA Reputation System and FPC (Fast Probabilistic Consensus).
GoShimmer refers to the prototype of a node software that allows nodes to reach a consensus without the coordinator. The GoShimmer node will contain the Coordicide modules for auto-peering and node identities. The revised whitepaper states:
These new concepts and the research results tied to this should be tested in an experimental manner, in order to proceed to the next level of implementation in a protocol. An important step, therefore, is to introduce a code-base on which experiments can be be performed and the hypotheses thoroughly tested. This is achieved by implementing the concepts of the Coordicide blueprint into a prototype, called GoShimmer.
The biggest changes to the original whitepaper have been made towards the Mana system. This plays a central role in the network as it provides protection against spamming and 33 percent attacks.
The Reputation System (Mana) proves that when a transaction takes place, the users own the ownership of the transferred IOTA quantity. The mana is credited to the node for passing valid transactions to the network. The “mana amount” of a node is used as a measure of trust or reputation to reward and distinguish “good” actors.
Nodes cannot simply “save up” mana, but must permanently participate in the network and validate transactions because “old” mana decays. In the whitepaper the IF describes the Mana reputation system in this way:
The principles of a mana system is that one should get or have more mana the more one contributes to the network. Contribution is naturally associated to how much stake one holds, but although having tokens helps the network, one should not be able to “mine” an unrestrained amount of mana by simply holding some quantity of tokens for a large amount of time, or by frequently sending tokens around. […]
When funds (i.e., IOTA tokens) are spent from an address, the pending mana that has been generated by this address, is converted to mana and pledged to a node. Pending mana is now generated by the funds on the receiver’s address
Decay.Both mana and pending mana decay at a rate proportional to its value, hence keeping mana from growing unrestrained over time.
The Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC) has also received several updates. The FPC voting protocol is the basis of the new consensus mechanism, which brings security to the Tangle after the coordinator is removed. It is equivalent to the Byzantine Fault Tolerance, which means that a part of the network nodes can work incorrectly or be affected by attackers without being affected in their functionality.
The FPC allows nodes to agree on the value of a single bit through automated and randomized mechanisms. In the whitepaper the functionality is described as follows:
The paper introduces a protocol of low communicational complexity which allows a set of nodes to come to a consensus on a value of a bit by means of (possibly randomized) voting and references therein for the vast available literature on this subject). The FPC relies on the ideathat randomised voting, i.e., random queries, is in some situations sufficient for good performance, and due the small message complexity the protocol becomes scalable.
According to Coordicide’s roadmap, a first prototype of a GoShimmer node is planned by the end of the first quarter. The launch of an alpha test network is planned for the end of the third quarter of 2020, while the test network is scheduled for the end of the year.
The full whitepaper with all details can be found under this link.